Carnival of Personal Finance #321 – The Fraud Edition

Welcome to the 321st edition of the Carnival of Personal finance. I had a lot of fun reading everyone’s submissions and added a few new folks to my reading list. I am excited to host this carnival for my first time. If you are new to Narrow Bridge Finance, be sure to check out some of my best posts and read about why you should listen to me.

This month I dealt with the single most bizarre experience of my life. I became friends with someone, started a company with him, and found out he was not who he claimed to be. It made me think about the millions of people who have been in similar situations. From Bernie Madoff to  Frank Abagnale, this week we are going to highlight some people who used finance for a very different purpose than the bloggers of today.

Image from Dreamworks film Catch Me if You Can

To begin, the con artist that makes fraud sound sexy. Frank Abangale Jr. was the subject of the popular film ‘Catch Me If You Can.” Based on the life of Abangle, Leonardo DiCaprio makes fraud look fun as he travels the world as an airline pilot, saves lives as a doctor, and eludes an FBI agent hot on his trail as he cashes fake checks and finds beautiful women.

Editor’s Picks:

Sustainable PF examines ways to make money online over four decades. Starting in the 1980s, SPF used innovative methods to create income streams. Some of them have died off and others are still applicable today.

The Financial Blogger thinks that debt is a good thing. How timely can an article be? As Fannie and Freddie are posting losses, the US Government is struggling with its own debt, and I am looking at buying a home, TFB takes a look at things from the other angle.

Mike, aka Oblivious Investor, reminds us that owning a bunch of mutual funds is not the same as diverse investing. Many mutual funds own the same stocks and some even own other mutual funds. Mike helps you dissect your portfolio to balance your investments.

Lindy at Minting Nickels made a few mistakes when she had her first baby. She shares her non-frugal moments in her post How We Didn’t Save Money with Our Babies.

Squirrelers has five easy steps to increase your savings. Sometimes it is good to get back to basics with personal finance.


My blogging buddy Well Heeled has seven tips for buying an engagement ring at Costco. These are great tips when you are making such a big and important purchase.


Adam at Rabbit Funds continues a series on starting a home business. This post focuses on important accounting and marketing tasks that most bloggers and entrepreneurs can learn from.

Clint at Accumulating Money put together a list of different types of jobs for finance professionals. As a finance guy myself, I can attest to how important having a direction can be to your finance career.

Mike at Green Panda Tree House wants to help you make a plan to quit your job.

Control Your Cash reminds you that your time is worth something and you should give it a value. Do not give it away for free.

Bret at Hope to Prosper has the secret to success for working stiffs.

Your Life Their Life looks at George Costanza as a case study for how you can succeed at work.

Charles Ponzi (March 3, 1882–January 18, 1949)...
Image via Wikipedia

Don’t forget the infamous Charles Ponzi. Yes, he is the guy Ponzi schemes are named after. Charles pioneered the genius pyramid marketing scheme that has cost so many people so much money. The Italian immigrant swindled people and governments by engaging in mail fraud and investment fraud.


Jake at NerdWallet examines the different benefits of American Express cards. From Clear to Centurion, AmEx has a lot to offer, if you are willing to pay the fee.

Jeff from Good Financial Cents reminds you to avoid store credit cards. It is not worth it.

Janet at Credit, Eh thinks you should use income diversity as a insurance for your credit card payments.

Glen at Free From Broke found the best credit cards for college students.

Philip shares ten tips to stay out of credit card debt at Deliver Away Debt.


Jeff at Sustainable Life Blog takes a look at what happened so far this year in his finances.

Cathy at Money Health Central has ideas for what to do after your debts are paid off.

Image from US Department of Justice

Bernie Madoff is a new edition to the list of fraudsters. Madoff admitted to operating the largest Ponzi Scheme in history. It is estimated that he cost investors $18 billion when his Manhattan investment firm went bust. He is currently serving a 150 year prison sentence. Sadly, many non-profits were dramatically impacted when Madoff’s house of cards collapsed.


My University Money explains the implications of the rising Loonie compared to the US dollar and gives a brief FOREX lesson discussing why exchange rates vary.

Darwin from Darwin’s Money shares what the media did not regarding the debt ceiling vote.

Money Thinker has his own ideas for fixing the national debt.


Money Beagle thinks having health insurance can be hazardous to your health. If you are considering a new addition to your family, this post has great insights.

Crystal shares her retirement checklist at Stupid Cents.

Image from US Department of Justice

Kenneth Lay is responsible for the largest corporate collapse from fraud in history. Lay lied to investors and cooked the books at Enron while being paid over $42 million per year to manage the company. The company with a $60 billion market cap with $100 billion annual revenue was exposed in October 2001 and now does not exist.


Kim at Blogging for Change noticed that her child’s school supplies were far more expensive than they needed to be, but most people just pay for convenience.

Free Money Finance takes a look at extreme couponing and wants to know your take.

Britney at TotallyMoney wonders if cost and expectation go hand in hand.

Hunter at Financially Consumed writes about caffeine addiction and how it impacts you, and your finances.

Glen at Parenting Family Money has 9 inexpensive ways to keep your kids entertained over summer vacation.

Jacob from My Personal Finance Journey has five great ways to reduce your car insurance.


The Dividend Growth Investor looks at master limited partnerships and the implications of owning these investments.

The Div-Net takes a deep dive analysis into the high dividend yield of Kinder Morgan.

Intelligent Speculator things that Google might have a chance at social media after all. It is not going to happen automatically, but Google is taking steps in the right direction.

The Dividend Growth Stocks blog is on the never ending quest for the perfect dividend stock.

Matt the Dividend Monk will help you build a $150,000 portfolio by the time you are 30.

John at Stock Market Basics helps you discern the many gold ETFs you can purchase.

Ricky at Qwoter can help you decide on the best company for an IRA depending on your needs.

Growing Money has comments on CNBC’s recent list of 20 stocks about to pop.

Jim at the Retire Happy Blog has found the science of building a diversified investment plan.

John from Wallet Blog discusses the difference between money market funds and money market accounts.

Outlaw Finance gives tips on where to invest your money.

Image from ABC’s Lost via Wikipedia

Okay, so this one was not a real guy, but I could not make a list of con artists without including James Ford, more commonly known as Sawyer. Sawyer taught the world about the “long con” on ABC’s series Lost. Sawyer also lived under the alias Jim LaFleur. Of course, Sawyer would not have been such a great con man if he had not learned from the man who stole his parent’s life savings.

Money Management:

Ricky at Qwoter discusses financial priorities. Learn about ideas ranging from the popular emergency fund to less known tips for building your own value.

Jen at Master the Art of Saving is taking an extreme couponing reality check. It is important to remember that behind the trendy “glamour” of feeding your family for twenty cents for four weeks that there are big costs. She also notes that guys (such as myself) may not appreciate your fifty boxes of tampons in the garage.

Anabelle at The Year of Shopping Detox wonders why so many financial experts and mean and yell-y. My personal opinion of Suze Orman is not so good, by the way.

Eric (good name!) at DollarVersity reminds us that bank account bonus offers are not always as good as advertised.

RJ at Gen Y Wealth thinks you do have enough willpower to make a difference in spending decisions. He also has strategies to make it easier on you.

MD at Studeneconomics explains why online banking is more popular than ever.

Canadian Finance Blog thinks it is time to start thinking like a wealthy person.

Jason from One Money Design asks the readers if they can live well on less than $40,000 per year.

Elizabeth reminds us to remain calm despite our volatile economic situation at Modern Gal.

Real Estate:

Nicole at Grumpy Rumblings shares her August mortgage update and the broken window hypothesis.

Sarah helps you find out how much your home is really worth at Money Under 30.


Chris at Stumble Forward helps you set up a savings account for your child. This is an important step in your child’s financial education and future, so be sure to get them started young.

Mike at Cards Canada examines loyalty programs worth joining.

Ben at Money Smart Life has the best rental car deals for road trips.

Phil at PT Money, our great organizer for the upcoming financial bloggers conference, tells us how to save like a madman.


Boomer from Boomer & Echo is learning about caring for elderly parents and shares stories from difficult moments.

Junior at Consumer Boomer helps you decide whether funeral insurance is right for you.

Briana at Personal Dividends never travels without travel insurance. She lists of the major benefits of having your trip insured.

No Debt MBA helps you decide if admissions consulting is worth the cost.

Asking About Money interviewed No Debt MBA and had some interesting answers.

Next Week:

Next week the Carnival of Personal Finance will be hosted by Financial Uproar. You can submit your posts by visiting the Carnival of Personal Finance homepage.

Join the Personal Profitability Community

Join the Personal Profitability Community and Get the Free Personal Profitability Playbook.


  1. says

    I do admit that Catch Me if You Can is one of my favorite movies, but I can only imagine how not fun it was for you to experience it first hand.

    Thanks so much for hosting, and for editor’s pick.

    • says

      That is a fun movie to watch. Thanks for participating. I had never seen your site before and enjoyed reading through some of your older posts. You inspired me to re-list something on Craigslist.

  2. says

    Thanks for including my post as an editor’s pick!

    I read your post where you detailed what happened to you. That’s really unfortunate, and quite an extreme thing to happen. It always pays to be careful, of course, but I don’t see how you could have forseen that kind of situation.  Glad you and others came out of it ok.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *